Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HENSEL & GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS - What the Kids Had to Say

First there was a persistent pig with a perfect pork chop!  Then there was a capable kid with kick-butt karate skills.  And now there is a plucky pair of poultry out to save their parents!

What are kids saying about the third book in the ninja trilogy?  Mollee Branden, a librarian in NC, shared a preview of HENSEL & GRETEL with her first graders and here are their responses.








Out in stores one week from today.  KI-YA!



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ninjify a Fairy Tale!

After reading Ninja Red Riding Hood, second grade book ninjas at Forest Lake Elementary School "ninjfied' their own fairy tales!



I am so impressed with their covers!  Aren't they awesome!!!  Ki-ya!

Fairy tales are fantastic mentor texts.  It can be very daunting to try to create a story entirely from scratch.  Taking a familiar story with existing characters, plot, etc and just changing one element (i.e setting), is a much more manageable task.

Long before I ever heard the term "fractured fairy tales," I was writing my own versions of popular books.  In second grade, I wrote my own sequels to Curious George and to The Cat in the Hat.  (Boy, do i wish my mom had saved those!)  I also wrote my own Nancy Drew mystery.   I needed a formula to follow.   Fairy tales and/or books in a series are perfect for providing that framework.

If you'd like to try this activity with your students, here is template you can print out to help them get started.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? Story Time Stem Challenges

I did my first STEM story time at a local library recently and it was so much fun!

The featured book was WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? which is about a bossy Moose who is a building a tree house with friends.  Moose appoints himself foreman and is so busy giving orders that he does not realize that he is getting himself into a pickle. His friends try to warn him, but he insists that the walls go up and it is only after the roof goes on that Moose realizes he is stuck inside.


Luckily his friends do some creative thinking and come to his rescue.

Since this story is about building, planning, teamwork, and problem-solving, it seemed like a perfect fit for some engineering challenges.

I found dozens of wonderful #STEM projects online and chose two of my favorites to try with this library group.

4 ENGINEERING CHALLENGES FOR KIDS (CUPS, CRAFT STICKS< AND CUBES

and

MARSHMALLOW TOWERS (MARSHMALLOWS AND TOOTHPICKS)

Both are easily adaptable for kids of all ages.

I gave everyone a plastic yellow construction hat and they got right to work building their structures.






At the end of the hour, no one was ready to go home!

My co-author, Becky Gomez, came up with her own list of book-related STEM challenges to try with kids. .



If you have a suggestion for a STEM activity that would tie-in with WHAT ABOUT MOOSE? we would love to hear it

Happy reading and building!!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

The 2015 Picture Book Oscars



And the awards go to...


BEST MALE CHARACTER

Bruce in MOTHER BRUCE



















BEST FEMALE CHARACTER

Dot in WOLFIE THE BUNNY
















BEST MALE SUPPORTING CHARACTER

Baron von Waffle in LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST


















BEST FEMALE SUPPORTING CHARACTER

Grandma from LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD















BEST CHARACTER IN A NON-SPEAKING ROLE

The cat in IT'S ONLY STANLEY




BEST FULL CAST ENSEMBLE

NINJA BUNNY




BEST COSTUMES, HAIR AND MAKE UP

LITTLE RED AND THE VERY HUNGRY LION



BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

STICK AND STONE
















BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

WE FORGOT BROCK!














BEST ORIGINAL SCREEN PLAY

FIRST GRADE DROP OUT














BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

THERE WAS AN OLD DRAGON WHO SWALLOWED A KNIGHT






BEST ANIMATED TRAILER

SAMURAI SANTA



BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Archie the Daredevil Penguin





And finally....


BEST PICTURE BOOK

I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG




Monday, November 30, 2015

National Ninja Day Story Times

There will be many National Ninja Day story times at schools and libraries from coast to coast this week, but this post is focused solely on book store events. Why?  Because Indies kick-butt!


The Country Bookshop- Southern Pines, NC
Fri., Dec 4th, 10:30-11:30 AM
Join us in the reading of ninja-themed books and activities in honor of National Ninja Day!


Books of Wonder- NY, NY
Sat. Dec 5th, 4:00-5:00 PM
Celebrate National Ninja Day with a special black belt story time with Corey Rosen Schwartz and Todd Tarpley filled with ninja books, games, moves, and activities.


The King's English- Salt Lake City, UT
Sat., Dec 5th, 2:00 PM
Join ninja author/illustrator Rubin Pingk for a special story time featuring the aughty antics of Yukio in SAMURAI SANTA.


Once Upon a Storybook- Tustin, CA
Sat. Dec 5th, 3:00-4:00 PM
Learn how to be a super awesome ninja as author/illustrator Jennifer Gray Olson reads NINJA BUNNY. Then practice your moves with a real martial arts instructor.


The Frugal Frigate-  Redlands, CA
Sat. Dec 5th, 10:30-11:30 AM
Celebrate Take Your Child to a Bookstore and National Ninja Day with this special story time. Activities, treat, and special pricing on all ninja books! Ki-ya!


Hooray For Books- Alexandria, VA
Dec 5th 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM
Come at 10:30 to hear some ninja-tastic stories and songs. then return at 3:00 for sensei-tional games and giveaways.  P.S. Take a selfie with Rubin Pingk's SAMURAI SANTA and you could win big prizes.


Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS
Sat. Dec 5th, 10:30-11:00
Celebrate National Ninja Day with stories about ninjas.  Ki-Ya!



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More Sneaky Fun for National Ninja Day!

Are you doing a story time for National Ninja Day?   In addition to our downloadable Ninja Kit, here are links to other fun Ninja resources and activities.





NINJA BUNNY Activity Guide

Discover the rules for becoming a super awesome ninja with these pages of mazes, connect-the-dots and more.


NINJA! Activity Guide    

Make a ninja mask, fold a ninja throwing star, or discover your inner Ninja with Arree Chung.                             

           
THE THREE NINJA PIGS Activity Guide

Design your own cover and use your stealthy ninja powers to stop the wolf with this guide created by Scholastic!


Learn How to DRAW A NINJA with Chris Tougas






Watch the SAMURAI SANTA Trailer 

Then create a trailer for your favorite ninja book!


Monday, November 2, 2015

The Best Librarian Ever (This week!)

JAMIE PALMER: For her incredible book pumpkins!



KURT STROH: For his spectacular Monster Book Fair display



MATTHEW WINNER:  For his fearless Captain Underpants costume



And SHANNON THOMPSON (and, yes, I am biased!)  for transforming from Red Riding Hood



 to NINJA RED



Your dedication to spreading book love is truly inspiring!